How Music Got Its Edge Back: Indie Meets Rap

Hip-Hop and rap are experiencing a strong resurgence of late (don’t call it a comeback!). After years of indie rock and pop ruling the airwaves, young people are looking for a new sound to call their own, branching out into electronic and rediscovering rap.At SXSW this year, fans could catch shows from heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Kalifa, as well as lesser-known acts.Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are headlining Coachella this summer.

The meshing of the indie and rap scenes is having an interesting effect on music. Taking a cue from indie bands, newer acts like Azealia Banks are creating a new sound that could almost be called “Indie Rap.” The Harlem-native’s songs are most definitely “R-rated” and fierce, but instead of rhyming about “thug life,” she raps about urban life, making her badass, but also relatable. It’s that cross-over potential that brings both rap fans and indie fans to her shows.

Urban music needed an infusion of edge to recapture the attention of young people. Hip-hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye have gone mainstream, getting wider airplay and gaining older fans (while simultaneously cleaning up their style, rapping less about illegal activities and more about luxury lifestyle). Young music fans were looking for something to call their own — music their parents wouldn’t listen to but that they could still relate to. It’s the same reason they’re straying away from the indie genre: hipsters and soccer moms aren’t supposed to like the same music.

In the same vein as acts like Odd Future, Azealia Banks is making her mark by being irreverent and very NSFW, simultaneously alienating older audiences and intriguing young Millennials. The video for her biggest hit so far, “212,” has been viewed more than 7.5 million times, but contains so many naughty…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Calling doctor offices takes too much time. If they don't have a patient portal where I can do everything online, I find another doctor. I couldn't find a dermatologist in my area who didn't require several phone calls, so I gave up.” –Female, 30, FL

Mobile devices are the first thing that 80% of Millennials reach for in the morning, and their digital dependence is seeping into more than just wake-up media. 88% have or would deposit a check by snapping a picture of it and 45% would want to pay bills the same way. The camera is the number one most important smartphone feature among this generation, and 33% even think a photo of their driver’s license could be put to good use as a way to enroll in anything from gym memberships to credit cards. (USA Today)

While online dating seems to give Millennials increasing hope of a modern day “happily ever after,” their happiness may be short-lived. Researchers from Stanford and MSU have found that breakups are more prevalent among couples, both married and unmarried, who met online than those who met in more traditional social settings. These stats are credited to simple facts: the mystery and risk of who is behind the other side of screen causes online relationships to take much longer to form into something real. (Jezebel)

To help heighten Millennial traffic, Jack-in-the-Box will feature an instant-win game promotion with prizes ranging from date night movie tickets to a two night VIP experience in Las Vegas. These big ticket offerings will capitalize on the healthy performance of their late-night menu, accounting for 16% of their sales in the first three quarters of this year. The chain has lost its once strong hold on the late-night market, and hopes to regain Millennial consumers with a menu of savory, mash-up items that they may not crave for lunch or dinner but become must haves after dark. (Huffington Post)

Millennial parents are more practical than ever, a trend we explore in-depth in the new edition of Ypulse Quarterly releasing tomorrow. Upcycling used clothing and embracing swaps are the kind of sustainability minded and money-conscious initiatives they support, so it’s no wonder that Kallio, a children’s clothing line made entirely from upcycled men’s shirts, reached its full funding on Kickstarter today.  The Brooklyn-based brand intends to invest in both the clothing line as well as a community workshop to teach sustainable design technique. (Fast Company)

While social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter seem to be dominating for innovative marketing efforts, Facebook still holds steady ground. In a small study of marketing professionals, digital platform Offerpop found that 92% of social marketing budgets will be spent on Facebook this holiday season. The survey from Offerpop also shows that 16% plan to spend money on Snapchat, but finds that 48% are hesitant to invest their budget in untested networks such as Yo and Wanelo. (The Drum)

Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 14-32-year-olds to keep our finger on the pulse of trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms among young consumers. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see every question we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for our entire history of bi-weekly surveys, and a search of Ypulse surfaces all the relevant related data that we’ve collected from young consumers. (Ypulse)

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